CAPAC — The village's police force has grown with the addition of a new full-time officer.
In May, the council authorized Chief Heather Fantin to hire Carlo Dealca. It's the first time in at least five years since the department has had a full-time officer, other than the police chief, among their ranks.
Dealca has been with the Capac Police Department on a part-time basis for nearly a year.
Fantin said recent changes to the police contract, including a transition from pensions to 401K plans, and a commitment to saving dollars where possible allowed for the personnel change.
"It's always boiled down to finances," Fantin said of their recent reliance on five part-time officers.
"Now that things are in order we felt it was the right time to reinstate that full-time position."
Dealca said he was thrilled to get the job in a community he's grown to love.
"I've gotten comfortable here over the last year working as a part-time officer and Capac reminds me of my hometown in the Philippines," he said.
He grew up in Warren and spent eight years in the U.S. Navy as a corpsman. He served two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and earned a Purple Heart and a Navy Achievement Medal for being hit with shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade in his foot and, despite that injury, kept going.
After his military service, Dealca became a Veterans Administration employee, working as a psychiatry tech where he worked with veterans in need of substance abuse help, housing assistance and more.
He then opted to try a career in law enforcement.
"It's structured in a way that's similar to the military and I like that and I feel like I can made a difference in the community as a police officer," Dealca said.
Working with youth is his favorite part of the job.
"I want to be a role model for them. For some of these kids, their parents aren't always around and I like to take them under my wing," Dealca said.
Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she and her family reside in the Capac area where she enjoys gardening and reading.